The rule became law on Friday, May 15, 2015 and various provisions go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016, May 15, 2016 and May 15, 2020. Scroll to the bottom to see a timeline of implementation. This rule is an NSPS - a New Source Performance Standard - established by the EPA with input from industry, states and other stakeholders.
Prices: There should be not be any significant short term price rises. We analyzed 77 popular models and found a 3-4% price rise since May 2015, but that may be due to a host of factors, and not necessarily impact of regulations. In the longer term some manufacturers say their stove prices may go up $300 - $400 around 2020. Others say their prices won’t rise at all.
Pellet fuel: All new pellet stoves must be tested and warrantied to use with pellets that are certified by a third party entity - either the Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI), ENplus or CANplus. Consumers will see more and more pellets certified by one of those entities, which means they meet certain quality and consistency standards. To date, 34 pellet plants make PFI certified pellets.
Fireplaces: The new rules do not apply to fireplaces, but there is a voluntary method for cleaner fireplaces to be tested and qualified by the EPA. This rule does not even refer to the voluntary program, which may mean there is little interest in including fireplaces in the next NSPS.
Owners manuals: All owners manuals should be updated as of May 15, 2015 but there is confusion around this and many manuals appear to not be updated as of mid 2016. Updated manuals will have more detail and must instruct operators how to get optimal performance from the stove or boiler.
Loophole for unregulated outdoor boilers: Manufacturers of unregulated outdoor wood boilers can continue to make and sell these units for "commercial" applications. However, one outdoor boiler company has already indicated that as long as the customer assures the dealer that the unit will be used for commercial purposes, its up to the consumer to use it as they please.
Comments? If you think we have omitted important information in the NSPS for consumers, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The EPA's BurnWise website
- Position of the main industry association, the HPBA
- EPA Rules Begin Cleaner Chapter for Wood Heating
- Air Quality Groups Intervene in Industry Lawsuit Against EPA
- Talks Yield Some Consensus Between Industry, Enviro Groups
- Independent Stove Manufacture Challenges Stove Industry Positions on NSPS